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Background. Teachers’ professional vision includes the ability to apply general pedagogical knowledge about components of effective teaching and learning to reason about significant features of classroom practice. It requires teachers to (a) describe, (b) explain, and (c) predict classroom situations. Although the acquisition of underling knowledge can be considered as a key element of university-based teacher education programmes, to date, there has been little empirical research on teacher candidates’ development of professional vision.

Aims. This study aims to improve understanding of how different university-based courses in teaching and learning impact the development of professional vision.

Sample. Participants were teacher candidates (N= 53) attending the same teacher education programme at a German university. They were enrolled in one of three different compulsory courses in teaching and learning, lasting one semester.

Methods. In a pre-test–post-test design, participants’ declarative knowledge about teaching and learning was measured with a test, professional vision with the online tool Observer. Analysis of covariance and multivariate analysis of variance were conducted.

Results. Teacher candidates in all three courses showed significant gains both in declarative knowledge and professional vision. Patterns of results differed depending on the course attended. A video-based course with a focus on effective teaching resulted in highest gains in prediction of the consequences of observed events for student learning processes, which is the highest level of knowledge transfer.

Conclusion. The development of professional vision is a strongly knowledge-guided process. In line with their content and aims, university-based courses can enhance teaching-relevant knowledge for teacher candidates.